Event360: 4 tips for pitching new destinations in a changing world

Event planners gathered at Event360 offered top tips on pitching new destinations amid a global security crisis.

Black Tomato hosts crisis management huddle at Event360
Black Tomato hosts crisis management huddle at Event360

During a crisis management case study huddle session at Event360, hosted by The Black Tomato Agency today (25 May), event professionals admitted the industry faced ‘a serious challenge’ when getting clients to consider new destinations.


C&IT security update: Middle East

C&IT security update: Europe


"The recent attacks and security scares worldwide have made people more cautious. Certain destinations, such as Istanbul and Marrakech are now off the menu," said Jack Marfleet, head of events at CWT Meetings & Events.

So, how can agencies pitch destinations in an increasingly cautious market?

Make sure you’ve been to the destination

"We like to suggest places that are off the beaten track. Some of the new places we’ve explored are Cuba and Zimbabwe," said business director at The Black Tomato Agency, Elliott Grant. "A key thing for us when pitching destinations is always choosing somewhere that one of the team members has been. I’d actually been to Zimbabwe on holiday before we pitched it to Mini and I loved it. We discussed it as an innovative destination before pitching. As a dynamic company, it really worked for the brand."

Perception is different from reality

"Certain destinations, such as Morocco, have dipped in popularity because they’re so close to trouble in other parts of the world," said Cassander van Eerd, deputy managing director, events at AddingValue. "Morocco is a great place, for example, but lots of people don’t want to go there because they perceive it to be risky. Part of our work is to change perceptions within the industry."

Do your research well

"Once you’ve found a great new place, the next thing is finding a great supplier for the place you’re pitching," explained Grant. "We always suggest networking events are a good way to meet new suppliers, but you can also use people you have existing relationships with- for example, we went to our South Africa contact regarding our event in Zimbabwe." He added that agencies should be ahead of the curve when it comes to country updates. "Learn all the recent updates and news in a particular destination, and make the client aware of it."

Assess the real risk for clients

Grant pointed out that crises can happen at any time, all over the world and that agencies and clients should asses the real risk. "Safety is paramount but you need to assess the real risk. For example, we once had a trip cancelled in Kenya because someone had been kidnapped in a completely different place-it was unrelated to where we were going. If I read the news on what happens in the UK- I’m not sure I’d ever come."

More on security:

Event planners share top security tips at BCD M&E workshop 

Security update: Where's off the pitch list? 

More from Event360

In Pictures: Event360 2016 - part 1

Event360: Is event insurance set for a comeback? 

• For more breaking news and in-depth features, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
License to chill: Follow in Bond's footsteps

License to chill: Follow in Bond's footsteps

With new details about the latest filming locations in Jamaica released, we look at some of 007's previous business trips.

There is an industry expectation for people to 'work for free' to get experience

There is an industry expectation for people to 'work for free' to get experience

A-List 2019: AOK Events' senior account manager Louise O'Keeffe.

Top 6 incentive travel destinations named by CR Worldwide

Top 6 incentive travel destinations named by CR Worldwide

Game of Thrones location, an island dubbed the new Ibiza and a landlocked land of gorillas have all been tipped by incentive experts.

'A lot of clients use agencies as bait to get cross quotes, which isn't a fair way of working'

'A lot of clients use agencies as bait to get cross quotes, which isn't a fair way of working'

A-List 2019: Stephen McIntosh, head of experiential at Audience.

How to use influencer marketing for B2B events

How to use influencer marketing for B2B events

There are five key things to consider if you want to use the medium to its full potential, says Mariska Kesteloo from Word of MICE.

Which European city has the most bars, cafes and restaurants?

Which European city has the most bars, cafes and restaurants?

Study reveals the top UK and European cities for those wanting to eat and drink their way round a destination.

Last chance for early-bird entries to C&IT Awards

Last chance for early-bird entries to C&IT Awards

The deadline to enter the C&IT Awards at the early-bird entry price is Thursday 13 June.

'I don't think event management degrees know enough about real-life events'

'I don't think event management degrees know enough about real-life events'

A-List 2019: Fiona Kelly, senior project manager, The Turner Agency.

Experience12 hires three new staff in account management

Experience12 hires three new staff in account management

Agency brings in two new account managers and an executive to boost the London-based team.

Voice-activated entertainment systems and first-class cabins with three beds

Voice-activated entertainment systems and first-class cabins with three beds

Case study: Hamburg hosted 20th edition of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in April, full of the latest aviation innovations.

LATEST JOBS